Sept. 14, 2017
The Boys (and Girls) Are Back in Town
(Good luck keeping that song out of your head for the rest of the day!)
With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, the General Assembly is getting back to business. The Senate held committee hearings on Tuesday, while the House had a full voting session Wednesday.
Traditionally, this time period can yield substantive work on legislative proposals as there is no budget deadline looming and because this is still the first year of the two year session and the lame duck effect has not set in. We'll see if that proves true this year.
This week, the House passed bills that would:
- Require the Ohio Peace officer Training Commission to develop and conduct a chief of police training course for newly-appointed village, city and township chiefs (SB 37);
- Establish a Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee to study the benefits and challenges involved in creating regional economic development alliances (HB 122); and
- Exempt out-of-state businesses and employees from certain taxes when they visit Ohio to perform disaster relief work (HB 133).
Though the disaster relief bill was introduced back in March to help ensure Ohio is prepared should disaster strike, the situations in Texas and Florida certainly illustrated the need for it.
During its session, the House also seated a new member. Former West Chester Township Trustee George Lang was sworn in to represent the 52nd House District, replacing Representative Margaret Conditt, who recently resigned her seat.
More Veto Overrides to Come?
Though there is no budget deadline looming, state budget issues are still lingering. Speaker Cliff Rosenberger indicated this week that because the U.S. House has yet to do anything with the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio House may soon act to override the Governor's veto of a provision Republican legislators favor that would freeze enrollment in the Medicaid expansion starting in fiscal year 2019. Back in July, when House members voted to override 11 other vetoes from the budget, they left this possibility open. So did the Senate, which as you will recall from last week's report, is in negotiations with the Administration on some of the other House veto overrides.
OSBA Priority Legislation
This season, the OSBA will be pushing a number of priority bills conceived by OSBA Committees and Sections, including legislation surrounding benefit corporations (B-Corps), as well as probate and tax law changes. We'll break them down for you in the weeks ahead, but you can always track their progress via the Legislative
section at www.OhioBar.org
Both chambers have voting sessions scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20.